Dollar Holds Firm Before Holidays

The dollar stood near two-week highs on Monday after decent U.S. economic data was released on Friday, while sterling recovered following last week’s big drop, Reuters writes.

The euro was little changed below $1.11. With the economic calendar light before the holidays, analysts doubt this week will see significant moves for major currencies.

Data published on Friday showed the U.S. economy, already enjoying a record expansion, appears to have maintained its moderate growth as the year ended, supported by a strong labor market.

The dollar has benefited both during bouts of risk aversion – because it is considered a safe-haven currency – and when markets have rallied, because the U.S. economy is outperforming other parts of the world.

The dollar was unchanged against the euro at $1.1085 EUR=EBS. Against a basket of currencies, it edged 0.1% lower – its index touching 97.611 .DXY – but remained near Friday’s peak, the highest since December 6.

Many analysts say the dollar is the most attractive currency of a bad bunch. U.S. yields are falling, but still better than returns elsewhere, Reuters added.

“The big picture remains though that the dollar continues to struggle for direction again the other major currencies amidst record low volatility,” MUFG analysts wrote in a note, pointing to the modest 1.5% rise for the dollar index in 2019.

The dollar has, however, also been supported since Washington and Beijing came to an interim trade agreement earlier this month. China said on Monday it would lower tariffs on products ranging from frozen pork to some type of semiconductors next year.

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